Willie Brown

Inducted 2014

  •  Basketball player at Father Ryan High School who had a major impact on helping to break the color barrier across the state of Tennessee

  • Believed to be the first African-American to play for a predominantly white high school team in the Nashville Interscholastic League (NIL), the state of Tennessee, and presumably the South

  • In December of 1963, Willie and his teammate, Jessie Porter, stepped on the court for Father Ryan and history was made

  • In his two-year career, the Irish posted a 52-6 record

  • In January of 1965, Willie led his team in a historic game against nationally touted Pearl High School in front of 8,300 fans at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium

  • Ryan’s game with Pearl was believed to be the first in the South between an African-American school and a predominantly white school

  • Willie was coached by TSSAA Hall of Fame member, Bill Derrick, during his time at Father Ryan

Other 2014 Inductees

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